The growth of Brandywine Airport since its days as a grass field is clearly evident in the following sequence of photographs taken over the years.
West Chester Airport was created in the countryside of Chester County, near West Chester.
If you know anything about the early days of the airport, please let us know!
An early 1947 sectional shows Brandwine among many other small airports no longer here. Click here for a larger view.
First, we have a pair of pictures taken by John J. Trainor in 1957.
A dairy and Kelsey's engine shop were the only things at West Chester Airport. R. L. Shannon (C-23326-40) and Paul W. Nelson (C-64666) were flight instructors. In John's words, "Both of these gentlemen were the best pilots and instructors I have ever known in 50 years of flying." The pics were taken in March of 1957 from N4103M, a PA-12 owned by Bob Shannon. John Trainor now lives in Arizona, and is known as "The Desert Flyer".
Note that there were originally two grass runways. The north-south runway was later sacrificed in the name of progress (now UPS, QVC and the American Helicopter Museum), while the east-west runway was kept and paved (see below).
For many years, this is how the field looked from the ground.
In the 1970's the area around West Chester Airport (renamed Brandywine Airport) began to be developed. Notice in this picture that U.S. Route 202 has been built, and that the Commodore Computer building (now QVC) is located near the North end of Runway 18-36 -- off of the new Wilson Drive.
During the 1980's, owner Bill Wilson improved the airport considerably. Runway 9/27, taxiway and ramps were paved, and the old trailor was replaced with a beautiful new terminal building. Mertz ran a maintenance shop in the main hangar, while the MBB Helicopter was located across the runway to the north.
Pix of this era are coming.
Next, we see what Brandywine Airport looked like in 1996, just before it was sold by Bill Wilson.
Soon after being purchased by a group of pilots, Brandywine Airport experienced growth in the form of the construction of 60 new hangars.
This is what the new T-hangars looked like just after Christmas, 1997.
This one shows the runway after being lengthened to the west, but before being re-painted.
Note the existence of the new hangars on the south side of the airport. To the east of the runway (top left of photo) you'll see a couple of brand new office buildings.
This photo in April 2004 shows the current airport after runway repainting with the new displaced thresholds, the additional 6th T-hangar closest to the main terminal, and the new NW corporate hangar on Airport Rd.
New Beacon installed near the end of July 2010 next to the existing AWOS.
More changes are coming, and we'll add photos to this page as they happen. Please send us your photos via email if you'd like them included here. Or you can drop pix off at the FBO with "Attn: Lee Marzke" and we'll scan them in ourselves.